The Los Angeles Chargers are bringing back a former undrafted free agent to add depth to their running game.
According to the team’s official website, the Chargers have re-signed RB Branden Oliver to a one-year deal.
We've re-signed popular running back @BoBelieves to a one-year contract.
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) March 23, 2017
Oliver was the last of the team’s free agents that we predicted would be brought back. After surprising many people his rookie season (2014)–a year in which the undrafted free agent out of Buffalo led the team in rushing with 582 yards on 160 carries–Oliver was looking to bounce back after missing the final eight games of the 2015 season with turf toe. Unfortunately, he never got started after being placed on season-ending IR after suffering a torn Achilles in last year’s preseason.
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After not tendering the restricted free agent, there was a chance Oliver would sign with another team. He’s small at 5-foot-8, but he has the speed, juking and receiving ability you want in a back. He also adds some power to his game, which is impressive for someone who weighs just 208 pounds. He’s solid depth and can help the team in the running game, passing game and on special teams.
With Oliver back, the Chargers’ backfield suddenly got more crowded behind workhorse Melvin Gordon. The team tendered exclusive rights free agent Andre Williams in the first few days of free agency, and recently signed former Eagles RB Kenjon Barner to a one-year deal. 2016 undrafted free agent Kenneth Farrow is still on the roster, too.
Unless the Chargers find a running back in the 2017 draft that they believe can’t be passed up, don’t expect them to draft one.